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Vaccinate NEPA: Johnson & Johnson vaccinations paused in Pennsylvania until at least April 20

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An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Tuesday that they would be halting doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Pennsylvania until at least April 20th as the CDC and FDA review cases where 6 women out of the 6.8 million people who have received the vaccine experienced rare blood clots.

These are said to have occurred within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. The CDC will be calling a meeting on Wednesday to review and determine the frequency and likeliness of this rare reaction happening again.

The women were between 18 and 48 years old and had received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

“While this announcement is challenging, it highlights the vaccine evaluation process,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “The CDC and the FDA are closely monitoring vaccines for safety and effectiveness, and if there is a cause for concern, they will take action because safety is paramount. This protocol should give all Pennsylvanians confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, and individuals should proceed with getting vaccinated as soon as possible to fight the virus, particularly as our case counts rise.”

Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam

The Dept. of Health also offers this guidance:

  • Individuals who have appointments scheduled to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination should keep those appointments.
  • If you are not aware of which vaccine type you are scheduled to receive, be assured that effective immediately, providers will not be administering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and have any health concerns, contact your health care provider.
  • People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of their vaccination should contact their health care provider.


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